They need to put down the champagne and pick up some history books. I'd advise them to start with the French Revolution. Specifically, what happened to the "let them eat cake" crowd.Here's Hilzoy on the Wall Street wonders who're whining about people wanting to take their outrageously enormous bonuses away:
As someone who thinks that levels of compensation in the US are absurdly unequal, and that this is bad for the country, it's tempting to say: oh, go ahead, you idiots. Keep your sense of entitlement to other people's money. Make people come after you with pikes and tumbrils. See if I care.Ha. HA! I'm not the only one thinking French Revolution.
And Hilzoy and I aren't the only ones with visions of violence:
Something about the AIG story is bringing out strange reactions. Chuck Grassley:
"In a comment aired this afternoon on WMT, an Iowa radio station, Grassley (R-Iowa) said: "The first thing that would make me feel a little bit better towards them if they'd follow the Japanese model and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say I'm sorry, and then either do one of two things -- resign, or go commit suicide." (...)
And no, none of us really want to see the Wall Street robber barons bleeding in the streets. Much. But when someone's robbed you blind, then demanded you pay them for the privilege, it's pretty hard not to think of things like tumbrels and hari kiri, even though you'd be horrified if those things actually came to pass.
But this is one other good thing about AIG's outrageous behavior: it allowed a Republican to get off a cutting one-liner that absolutely delighted me. I agree with Sen. Grassley without reservation on that point.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go have a lie-down after such a shock.